My question involves real estate located in the Commonwealth of: Virginia
I asked a question about adverse possession a few years ago and got good advice here that I followed. Basically I decided it was not worth the cost to go after a 1' x 200" piece of property that I have been maintaining for 40 years. The property is due to a previous owner of a property bordering my land erecting a fence one foot inside his property line 40 years ago. No big deal really, we just maintained (cut grass, planted bushes, etc) for all that time and still do. Fast forward and the other property now has renter in it. They have four big dogs (pit bulls). The dogs will climb the fence and come into our yard whenever people are in it to "expand" their territorial claim. The dogs even have crossed our yard and went after a smaller dog on the other side of us today. Fortunately, no damage to life or property has happened yet.
The first time it happened, I spoke to the neighbor and he was apologetic and then chained the dog that jumped the fence to a tree. The dog was able to break the chain and come across a second time and a third time. When I went to speak with the neighbor, he was not at home. The fourth time, I started calling the police. I have called the police 4 times in the past year.
I plan to keep reporting incidents until I can force improvement of dog control on his part. However, I do not want to risk any injuries to my pets or family. Therefore, I am considering erecting a 6' privacy fence. Hence my question about adverse possession. If I erect the fence on the property line, it will be one foot away from the chain link fence. It will create a 1 foot wide area that will not be easy to maintain and create a nesting area for other creatures. Additionally, if his dogs climb the 42" fence, they may get lodged between the two fences and harm themselves. I really don't wish to do this. If I have the new fence erected right up against the old fence, would the neighbor have the right to tear it down later since it will legally be on his property? Can I do anything to prevent him from removing it other than claim adverse possession?
Yes - I realize he should be erecting the fence since he has created the issue - but that isn't going to happen and I'm not going to wait until my grand child has stitches and broken bones before I take action. I would like to "convince" the owner to pay for the fence or a portion of it, but am not willing to wait.
I would like to put the fence right up against the other and protect my right to keep it there.